Category Archives: e-learning

Wearable learning?

eegHere’s an interesting post from the team at TrainingZone.  With the advent of wearable technologies such as the smart watch and Google glasses, the possibilities for learning and teaching become quite interesting!  It’s no longer science fiction to see a world in which students are able to access information via a glance at their timepiece, rather than just a tablet or cellphone, and the GPS aspects in particular hold interesting possibilities for decision-making activities in the field.  

I guess the real challenge will be a content design one, more than anything – making content accessible via ever-smaller devices is no mean task…

Online options… not optional!

online_studentIt’s interesting to see Florida emerging as the latest state looking to make online study a requirement for all students graduating from high school.  It’s a bold move, partly driven by the need to assess computer literacy and partly a means to offer students more choice.  It’s an initiative I whole-heartedly support.

An interesting side-effect, of course, is that it also places greater demands on universities to “up their game” by offering more online provision in their on-campus programmes. We are already seeing here in the UK the consequences of a school system in which teachers are often far more innovative than their university counterparts, student dissatisfaction being on the increase as they discover that the undergraduate experience in some institutions is suspiciously devoid of any real application of learning technologies.

The more the school system promotes the online option, the greater the pressure on the university sector to keep up.  The “blended campus” is increasingly no longer an option, but a necessity – of course, for many universities, that leaves a massive piece of work still to do in terms of faculty up-skilling!

From MOOC to Market

keepcalmHere’s a nice example of the power of blended learning harnessed in quite literally a very entrepreneurial way… Back in March, MIT launched a very successful MOOC, attracting over 55k online students at its peak; Entrepreneurship 101.

The MOOC was structured around the broad theme of “Who is your customer?” and, among its learning outcomes, was a crowd-sourcing project which gave students the opportunity to showcase their marketing flair.

The really interesting component of the MOOC, however, was what followed next and its competitive taught element. Students were invited to apply for a five-day on-ground “bootcamp” at MIT itself. Applicants were evaluated on a range of criteria, from analytical ability to long-term vision, with just 47 students being admitted to the camp over the summer. The fee for attendance – around $6000.

What happened next was the clever bit. During the course of the camp, supported by tuition and seminars and a range of new venture creation activities, students developed a range of business start-up ideas, both individually and in groups. The talent and energy on display was amazing, with the elite MOOC “graduates” from 22 countries working together to create over 50 new business start-ups in a mere five days. A brilliant result! And a wonderful example of how blended approaches really can deliver tangible results with just a little imagination.